Over the past 24 years, the AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) program has provided highly accurate remote-sensing characterization of aerosol optical and physical properties for an increasingly extensive geographic distribution including all continents and many oceanic island and coastal sites. The measurements and retrievals from the AERONET global network have addressed satellite and model validation needs very well, but there have been challenges in making comparisons to similar parameters from in situ surface and airborne measurements. Additionally, with improved spatial and temporal satellite remote sensing of aerosols, there is a need for higher spatial-resolution ground-based remote-sensing networks. An effort to address these needs resulted in a number of field campaign networks called Distributed Regional Aerosol Gridded Observation Networks (DRAGONs) that were designed to provide a database for in situ and remote-sensing comparison and analysis of local to mesoscale variability in aerosol properties. This paper describes the DRAGON deployments that will continue to contribute to the growing body of research related to meso- and microscale aerosol features and processes. The research presented in this special issue illustrates the diversity of topics that has resulted from the application of data from these networks.
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Acknowledgements. All of the AERONET scientists and technical staff have contributed to all phases of the DRAGON-related campaigns since 2004. Their efforts have been fundamental to the concept, data collection, and analysis of the DRAGON data. Those not named as coauthors include Wayne Newcomb, Amy Scully, Oleg Dubovik, Don Ho, Alex Tran, Jon Robriguez, and Jason Kraft. Each campaign had a significant non-NASA team of which the PI lead is named in Table 3 and is a co-author but was supported by their own team and institution. For AERONET support, we wish to thank the EOS Project Science Office and the Radiation Sciences Program at NASA HQ. We thank the Global Change Observation Mission – Climate project by JAXA (no. JX-PSPC-434796) and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 15K00528 for their support in Japan. The work in Korea was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) of Korea, Ministry of Environment(MOE), as a “Public Technology Program based on Environmental Policy (RE201702180)”. The DRAGON network deployments for the four DISCOVER-AQ missions were supported by the NASA Earth Venture – Suborbital program. We would like to thank the flight crew from both NASA B200 and P-3B and the DISCOVER-AQ team members for their support during these missions. The Naval Research Laboratory staff participation was supported by the Office of Naval Research Code 322 and the NASA Interdisciplinary Science program. ORACLES contributions were funded under Earth Venture Suborbital-2 grant 13-EVS2-13-0028. The work of Qingyang Xiao and Yang Liu was partially supported by the NASA Applied Sciences Program (grant nos. NNX16AQ28G, NNX14AG01G, and NNX11AI53G). A special thank you goes to our in-country partners Abdulla Al Man-doos and the National Centre for Metrology & Seismology for the UAE2 support, to Namibia University of Science and Technology for the DRAGON efforts in Namibia, The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur for TIGERZ support, Universiti Sains Malaysia for supporting the DRAGON-Penang campaign, and the National University of Singapore Center for Imaging, Sensing and Processing for DRAGON-Singapore. Finally, thanks to Lorraine Remer and the anonymous reviewer for their critical suggestions that strengthened this paper.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science